About Us

The HBRF will ensure that businesses can access the most up to date expertise and information to protect themselves from security threats.   The forum will create a secure Humber region in which business and other organisations can flourish, through educating businesses to Prepare for, respond to and emerge from an attack. Gordon Meldrum QPM, a Non-Executive Director of Hull-based Agenda Screening Services, and a former Director of the UK National Crime Agency, is a driving force behind the HBRF and is the Chair of the forum’s board.


  • To make the Humber region more resilient to cyber-attacks and better able to protect interests in cyberspace
  • To assist the Humber region to tackle cybercrime and be one of the most secure places in the UK to do business in cyberspace
  • To assist the Humber region to develop the cross cutting capacity, capabilities, knowledge and skills to underpin Objectives 1 & 2.

Board Members


Chris Withers, Head of IT and Compliance at Agenda Screening Services and HBRF Chair.

Chris is an ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (ISACA, CISM), computer science graduate, Microsoft Certified Professional and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certified ISMS lead auditor. Assisting clients and leading Agenda’s information security management strategy he is focused on cyber resilience incorporating disaster recovery, backup and business continuity solutions.  He ensures legal and regulatory compliance including ISO27001 Information Security, ISO22301 Business Continuity, BS10012 Personal Information Management, ISO9001 Quality Management, ISO14001 Environmental Management, Cyber Essentials, PCI-DSS and the Data Protection.


Rory Clarke, J R Rix & Sons
Rory Clarke is a Director of J R Rix & Sons Limited a family owned business based in Hull, and Managing Director of the fuel distribution part of the Group, Rix Petroleum, which is the largest independent, family owned, fuel distributor in the UK. JR Rix & Sons can trace its origins back for more than 140 years. Whilst it started out as ship owners in the 1870s it is only a small part of what it does today. Its diverse activities range from stevedoring, warehousing, and car retailing through to fuel distribution, manufacturing and property development.

Dr Dionysis Demetis, University of Hull
Dr Dionysios Demetis is a Lecturer in Management Systems at the Business School of the University of Hull and affiliated with its Centre for Systems Studies. He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics for research on Anti-Money Laundering and Information Systems. He has been an Associate Staff member of the Information Systems Innovation Group (ISIG) of the LSE, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the San Diego-based, Thomas Jefferson School of Law in California where he lectured on International Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering, the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA/AML) and Research Methodology.

John Connolly, C4DI
John Connolly is Managing Director of C4DI (The Centre for Digital Innovation) based in Hull. C4DI is a privately funded business, focussed on growing the local tech community, incubating tech companies, and proving startup opportunities developed from corporate innovation programmes, which it runs for organisations such as Siemens, PwC, ABP, Smith & Nephew and RB. John has extensive experience of setting up technology businesses and taking them from concept through to profitability. Over the last few years he’s built businesses specialising in a range of technologies including desktop software, mobile apps, gaming, SaaS products and Interactive DVD.

Ralph Gilbert, Rollits
Ralph Gilbert is a solicitor and is Managing Partner of Rollits LLP, a commercial law firm based in Hull and York and business resilience is therefore at the top of Ralph’s agenda! Ralph is a Law graduate of the University of Hull and has been a leading commercial litigation solicitor since qualifying in 1990 and over the years has acted for a wide range of clients in seeking to protect their interests. As well as heading up the firm’s own cyber security function, he also leads on anti–money laundering protection and general risk management for the firm and his interest in general resilience therefore arises from both his professional work as a lawyer but also in managing the firm.

Steve Hanson, Barclays
Steve joined Barclays in 2008 to set up a new Corporate area office based in Hull. He is Head of Business & Corporate Banking, Humber & York and leads a team of 25 staff serving clients with a turnover of £400k+ across the Humber and York market. Steve started his banking career in Sheffield in 1983 and has undertaken a wide variety of roles in Retail and Business Banking across Yorkshire. Steve has been based in the Humber & York area since 1996, where his focus has been relationship management and business development roles across Commercial and Corporate Banking. Steve therefore has a wealth of experience to ensure his team deliver the financial solutions and service required by their clients. Steve lives in East Yorkshire and is married with one daughter.

Paul Brady, PWC
Paul Brady has over fifteen years’ experience of providing advisory services to private and public sector organisations. Paul’s background is in software development, implementing IT solutions and web-enabled systems for British Airways in the late 1990s. Paul moved into the public sector in 2001 and spent 6 years in health and social care; implementing multi-agency information sharing solutions. During this time Paul gained his British Computer Society ISEB certificate in Data Protection. Paul then joined PwC in 2008 and in 2010 he became a member of the CESG Listed Adviser Scheme (CLAS); advising DWP, HMRC, National Savings & Investments and other government agencies on securing protectively marked data up to and including SECRET. Paul is a Full Member of the Institute of Information Security Professionals (M.Inst.ISP) and since 2014 has been leading PwC’s cyber security team in the North, advising organisations across all sectors on cyber and information security.

David Clugston, Clugston Group Ltd
David is a Director of Clugston Group Ltd, a family owned company that has featured as one of the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 companies to Inspire Britain’ and The Sunday Times ‘Top Track 250’ companies. The Group, which is based in the Humber region, is engaged in construction, logistics, property development and facilities management activities across the UK. David commenced his career by serving as an Officer with the Corps of Royal Engineers before undertaking a range of project support roles, from finance industry software development, to construction management of sensitive IT facilities and critical infrastructure facilities, and has latterly been engaged in business development and strategic acquisition roles. David holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from the University of Leeds and is keen to encourage organisations within the region to improve their knowledge of, and resilience to, the rapidly changing threats posed by cybercrime.

Liz Johnson, University of Hull
Liz Johnson is the Business Development Manager for the Faculty of Business Law & Politics at the University of Hull. Prior to joining the university in 2012 as graduate entrepreneurship manger Liz ran two successful businesses, one in the service sector and the other in retail. Liz’s expertise lies in client relationship support, project and events management. Liz works with many varied and interesting clients over a cross sector of business related sectors. Her key aim is to introduce businesses to the correct academics within the faculty and the wider university network so to stimulate discussions around innovation, growth and impact and to provide the support and management in this process. Liz is the founder and first chair of the Hull Business Women’s Breakfast Club, which is now in its 26th year, a group set up for local business women to share experience, knowledge and friendship. Liz has served a three year term as a governor at East Riding College, seeing the successful transition from the Gallows Lane site to the new Flemingate location. She has experience of working as a parish councillor and is also a qualified business advisor. Liz has been involved with the HBRF since its inception in 2015.

This page has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication, and, to the extent permitted by law, Humber Business Resilience Forum , its directors, members, employees and agents do not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this publication or for any decision based on it.